Getting appointments is number one gripe in our GP patients’ survey

Getting appointments is the most common concern for patients
Getting appointments is the most common concern for patients
Philip Astle, SCAS chief operating officer and, right, Paul Jefferies, assistant
director of operations

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DIFFICULTIES in getting an appointment with their doctor is what concerns readers most.

The News ran a week-long investigation into the crisis GPs are facing, which includes doctors retiring earlier because of workload and trainees not coming into the profession.

Reader feedback found patients’ major concern was trying to get a timely appointment with their GP.

John Grant said: ‘The appointment system needs overhauling has I’ve been having trouble getting an appointment at my surgery, which is the Bosmere Medical Centre in Havant.

‘I also use Queen Alexandra Hospital sometimes as it’s been easier than trying to get and appointment from my doctor’s surgery.

‘And it’s quicker and you are treated better rather than just being fobbed off with the answer “we’re fully booked for the month”.’

And D Robinson said: ‘I belong to a practice in Waterlooville.

‘To get an appointment there, one has to phone and tell the receptionist which doctor you want to see and why and the doctor will ring back and either prescribe over the phone or with an appointment.

‘I am 84, live alone and very hard of hearing, consequently using the phone is not an option.

‘I visited the surgery in person and was told to go home and wait for the phone call. Then finally the receptionist agreed to give a message to the doctor and they would write to me. Of course they never did.’

Many readers also have good experiences of GP access.

June Rickard, 82, of Chelley Avenue, Paulsgrove, speaks highly of the Northern Road Surgery in Cosham.

She said: ‘There is a small team of doctors and nurses and other staff who are all friendly.

‘I never have a problem getting an appointment.

‘If I want one on the same day then I call at 8am and either the doctor speaks to me on the phone, or I get an appointment, which is really good.’

And Betty Mears, 79, praises Waterside Medical Centre, in Gosport.

The retired nurse said: ‘My surgery has made changes so it can see more patients, which is good.

‘But nowadays pharmacists can do so much more than before.

‘If things carry on as they are then maybe people will have to pay a charge to see their GP, or hotel rates if they are having to stay in hospital.

‘Something will have to change soon.’